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Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

#2. The Neurology of Ownership

When we take ownership of something, we work to keep it.

This step is about owning your intention. Look at your Goal Wheel and set an intention for that area.

For example:

  • Business: Level up my business efforts so I can reach and help more people.
  • Friends: Set aside time to support.
  • Family: Dedicate real family time more often.
  • Personal Passions: Learn how to paint and spend more time reading.
  • Spiritual: Start meditating to create mental space and slow down at the end of a workday.
  • Health: Get more toned and increase my endurance.

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Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

Goal Setting: 5 Science Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/goal-setting/

scienceofpeople.com

7

Key Ideas

Not all goals are created equal:

  • Merely fantasizing about your goal is de-motivating – it actually tricks the brain into thinking you already have achieved it.
  • Goals that aren’t set up properly can end up having the opposite effect.

Setting and Achieving Your Goals

  • Step #1: Take Your Emotional Temperature, around the most important areas of your life.
  • Step #2: The Neurology of Ownership: When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it.
  • Step #3: Outcome + Process: Most people set an intention or an ideal outcome and try working toward it, but that gets you only halfway there. You have to pick an outcome and a process.
  • Step #4: Identify Blockers: When we first set our goals we are super optimistic and filled with hope–and that’s great. One thing that happens, however, is we fail to identify possible blockers.

#1. Find Your Emotional Temperature

Rate these areas of your life on a scale from 1 to 5 and plot it on your Goal Wheel. (1 being extremely dissatisfied, 5 being extremely satisfied)

  • Business: How do you feel about your work, career or business effectiveness and success?
  • Friends: How is your social life? Your friendships and support system?
  • Family: How are your personal relationships? Your partner or spouse?
  • Personal Passions: Do you have personal passion projects, hobbies, or fun activities that fulfil you?
  • Spiritual: You can interpret this one any way you like. It could be your faith, mental health, personal journeys or mindset.
  • Health: Are you happy with your physical health and wellness?

#2. The Neurology of Ownership

When we take ownership of something, we work to keep it.

This step is about owning your intention. Look at your Goal Wheel and set an intention for that area.

For example:

  • Business: Level up my business efforts so I can reach and help more people.
  • Friends: Set aside time to support.
  • Family: Dedicate real family time more often.
  • Personal Passions: Learn how to paint and spend more time reading.
  • Spiritual: Start meditating to create mental space and slow down at the end of a workday.
  • Health: Get more toned and increase my endurance.

The “endowment effect”

It happens when we take ownership of something and it becomes “ours,” thereby integrating it into our sense of identity.

When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it

#3: Outcome + Process

Outcome: The ideal result, hopeful conclusion, best end for your goal.
Process: The skills you need, the method required to get you there.

Write down the skills, process or methods you need to achieve the outcomes in Step #2

For example:

  • Business: Level up my business efforts so I can reach and help more people.
    Hire a marketing agency.
  • Friends: Set aside time to support and reach out to friends more regularly.
    Join an exercise class with friends. Plan a weekend getaway.

#4: Identify Blockers

Answer these questions truthfully in your Goal Worksheet:

  • What logistical constraints might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?
  • What behaviours might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?
  • Who might make it difficult for you to achieve your goals?

When you know what our blockers are, you can work to plan around them.

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The Rudders and Oars Metaphor

It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
  • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow

  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”

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The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 %...

Procrastinating

Procrastination, or the way we let pending tasks linger on, just avoiding them, is one of the main reasons our goals don't materialize.

The longer any work is avoided the harder it becomes to eventually do it.

Like dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, they get harder and harder to do as the load increases.

Fear as the Cause of Inaction

Fear causes us to procrastinate. It can be:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of leaving our comfort zone
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what other people would think of us

We justify these fears by imaginary different reasons, but the root cause is not related to our invented reasons, it is our inherent fear.

5 more ideas

Goal setting gives focus

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. 

Setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives.

Practical goal setting

  • Evaluate and reflect. Regularly write down where you are right now, and if you are happy with your current level of satisfaction.
  • Define your dreams and goals. What do you want? Schedule some quiet “dream time” and think about what really thrills you. Then prioritise those dreams.
  • Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive)
  • Have accountability. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals.